What do the US bishops have to say about child poverty in America?


Thanks for sharing that. Do you know what if anything the UK bishops had to say about that? One interesting thing about the links @mrsdizzyd provided is how the US bishops speak to current legislation. From my understanding it’s been a while since the issue has been in front of our representatives so I’d have to back a ways.


Really? What did the local bishops have to say about it?


Paid leave is something many employers provide, and we do have the Family Medical Leave Act that covers a wide variety of needs. Extended leave time, whether paid or unpaid, is hard to accommodate for many employers, and the other employees often suffer the consequences of having a coworker out for weeks or more at a time.

It can be viewed as a negative to allow for so much time off. This is where we are allowed a variety of opinions and a good reason for bishops to stay out of political debates. Living the gospel, putting others before ourselves, and placing God front and center, would solve so many issues without having to create a policy for everything.


In the UK, we have “statutory maternity pay” which we recieve from the state. And it would appear that employers, big and small, accept that paid leave is a thing. Annual leave, sick leave, parental leave.


I have to be honest, I’m not sure if the Bishops have made any official comments about this. It’s generally considered a given here, by priests and lay folk, thet paid parental leave is important, necessary.


Catholic social teaching might allow benefits for the woman who just gave birth, who has rights to a position she plans to return to. But equal benefits to the woman who just gave birth, who is a full time homemaker not returning to the job market soon.

Those benefits would both be phased out above a certain level of family income.


that doesn’t make any sense. You were ‘allowed’ to stay home for a year. At the end of that year you went back to work, right? So you could still have gone back to work after the baby was born. I assume your baby went into some form of day care after a year. So only having one year off doesn’t mean that you would have ended up in poverty. You would have ended up doing what a lot of women do which is use up their paid vacation and then go back to work.

So no, paid maternity leave will not prevent poverty.


Putting a neonate in childcare is bordering on the ridiculous. I was healing for several months, I could not have functioned at work. Breastfeeding requires mother and baby be together. And if you suggest formula feeding to get mothers back to work sooner, well you need to think about what you are suggesting. (Not to mention the cost of formula).

A mother needs to be with her newborn child. If I’d had no income my family would have been in poverty. Makes perfect sense.

Aside from anything, no nurseries on childminders will take them here under six weeks.


Maybe it is cultural expectations.

Every breastfeeding mother I know has returned to work or school between 4 and 12 weeks. All have continued breastfeeding. And those of us who are moms are tired but do alright. Female soldiers are even eligible for overseas deployments when their babies are 6 months old. The only stay at home moms I know personally bottle feed.

Here 6 weeks is the minimum with a few exceptions, but a lot of people don’t use child care centers. They have family watch babies or they have opposite shifts so one parent is normally home. It works out fine for most of us, even when a lot of us would much prefer to be home. You just need to have a flexible plan in place. Thankfully babies take nine months on average to arrive.



My child had health issues, and I was pumping three hourly, as well as breastfeeding I am a hospital doctor (can’t take my baby to work). I wouldn’t have been a bit tired, it would have been impossible. If women wish to go out to war, work 14 hour shifts, or whatever else, good for them. But no mother should be pressured to return to work after 4 weeks! And not every mother has extended family to take the baby. So insulting to suggest that 9 months of pregnancy is somehow sufficient to magic an extended family out of thin air.


That isn’t what I suggested at all. I also don’t have family. Not sure why you are so concerned about the US paid leave practices when you don’t even live here. Online you will find many loud voices complainnng about it, but as a working mom raised by a working mom, it isn’t something any of us truly fret about. It is how we expected it to go. Literally none of my coworkers have ever felt cheated and many are ready to be back to work. That’s why I suggested maybe it is cultural expectations.

The women I know in a few other countries have told me they Can’t believe we wait a full 6 weeks or more to go back to work. Their employers would never hold their jobs that long for them, let alone pay them while they were off. So considering that, I don’t see us having it so bad. Culturally I think it would be hard to ask an American woman to not stay off a minimum of 6 weeks.


There are two groups that favor mandating maternal paid leave: those who love mothers, and those who love mandates.

The second group is the larger. By far.


I think the bishops would support your feeding of the poor and your defense of the pre-born. You illustrate the problem with our society. While no one complains about your feeding of the poor when you speak out again st that which causes people to be poor, ie: the distinct lack of the recognition of the dignity of all life, one experiences resistance. In a nation where 1 in 5 of it’s citizens end up aborted is it any wonder that 1 in 7 will be born into poverty? And, is it any wonder that that same nation would be the only one in the developed world that doesn’t recognize mandatory paid maternal leave as essential to the stability and future good of all?


Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I don’t know anyone who would expect an employer to pay someone to stay home for a year because they wanted to have a child. We planned for me to stay home. So saved for 4 years before having the first baby. This way we were financially able to let me quit working. I also researched what jobs could be done from the home and began a home business that also added to our income but we based everything off of my husband’s income.

I stayed home for 14 years with our two sons. We had very little but learned to live on less. We gave up a lot but I don’t regret it one bit. We even survived his job loss when I had a baby and one on the way. We did not end up in poverty and the only government aid we got was WIC (you got milk, eggs, cheese) and medical coverage for the birth along with is unemployment.

Eventually I was able to go back into the work force and work full time. The company I work for is 90% women. Someone is always pregnant or taking time off for sick kids. It would be unreasonable to expect my employer to pay women to stay home for a year to have a baby and to have to pay someone to take their place while they are out. It would also put an extra burden on a coworker. Yes, I have been there. We are a team of 6 so when someone is gone for an extended period it does create a burden on the rest of the team.

I’m still not sure how you would have ended up in poverty. You may have had a temporary financial set back but with a medical degree you would easily have found another position and then caught up financially. I’m not trying to accuse you of anything or saying you did anything bad. I just can’t understand the connection between not working for a year and ending up in poverty. Perhaps where you are there are no safety nets for non-working mothers like welfare and government aid.


how is mandatory paid maternal leave essential to the stability and future good of all? apparently this is a new concept and I don’t understand how it affects society for the better. I can see the benefit for the individual but then I see 6 weeks paid vacation as a benefit to an individual too. I just can’t see it as contributing to the stability and future good of all.


Just to clarify, I agree with you. I didn’t state I would be in poverty. That was another poster. I also think it is cultural.


sorry I see that now. I should have split my answer between the two posts.


That is alright. I do It myself.



In my old parish, every Sunday they would promote a different social issue. One week, we were told be concerned about abortion. The next week, it was to vote to restore funds for teaching German in the public school district. Next week, let’s tell the city to fix those broken sidewalks in poor neighborhoods. The following weeks parishioners were told to be outraged on lots of different issues, some trivial, some where neither side was really more Catholic than the other. Whoever got their opinion into the bulletin, won.

The result was that prolife was diluted, just one more opinion among others.

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